A morning climb up Patterson Pass was tame and we were happy for the descent on a chilly morning. The ups and downs continued all day from dirt to loose gravel to pulverized dusty dirt.
There was a lot of technical riding, ruts, twists, and loose rocks that opened in to little oasis of green grass in the valleys.
We drifted in to Preston on fumes and fueled up but still no air for my low rear tire. Lunch stop in Lund, a one stop town where a little general store served us egg salad and tater tots.
We started late in the afternoon and raced the sun set to Eureka through fields of sage brush. Miles and miles of ruts, which took me down twice, and double track we could barely find. Steep ups and downs where water once cut through surprised us as we raced around.
We came to the highway just as the sun began to set and the beautiful red orange illumination of the mountains took our breath away. The temperature dropped as we climbed in elevation. We rolled into the little town of Eureka just after dark.
The next morning welcomed us with an inevitable flat tire. We thought it had a slow leak but had no idea the damage that was done, exacerbated by the many sage brushes on the track, no doubt.
Han chatted with some riders before I got up and they told him the metal smith in town had let them use his motorcycle jack the day before. Eager and humbled we knocked on the door but no answer. Then a man, shushing a dog, exited his gate across the street and told us he was the owner. Jim,our savior, took us around back and opened the garage doors to his air plane hanger metal shop where he equipped us with a lift, some tools, and his helping hands. We repaired the 4 holes in the tube (four!) cause by sharp metal rod of some kind hidden in the tire. We patched and repatched the tube until it was as good as it gets. It seemed to be holding so we put it back in, pumped her up and waited.
While it was lifted we also repaired my rack with the help of Jim and tried to fix my kickstand unsuccessfully. Lubed the chain and went to lunch at the Sloppy Joe’s Diner while we waited for my tube’s fate.
It was already 2:00 so we realized Eureka would keep us another day. The town was so friendly. As we walked around we were stopped by everyone to chat about our adventures and theirs.
We met up with Jim again and the tube was holding strong. A solid patch. We thanked Jim and told him to come visit us on St John where we can return the favor.
We settled in to another motel room where the giant yellow moon rose in our window. We had a few drinks at the Owl Club and the very nice man at the EZ mart opened the kitchen after it was closed to make me a veggie sandwich.
Thanks to all the friendly people of Eureka for a nice day off the trans america trail!